FREE Pony Stampede Hilltop Review: Sept. 23

Come inside this free edition of the Pony Stampede Hilltop Review with the latest on SMU commits and visitors from last week's win over Liberty.

2017 SMU commit updates season, commitment status

By: Andrew Hattersley

With his college decision out the way, 2017 Timber Creek (Tex.) offensive tackle and SMU commit Alan Ali has been continuing to produce for a record setting offense in his senior year.

“It’s been going good, just continuing to pick up where I left off last year, continuing to not give up sacks and offensively this is the best offense we’ve had in history so we’re playing pretty good,” Ali said. 

Timber Creek changed their offense this year to become more balanced, something that has helped Ali become a more complete player. 

“Definitely my pass blocking, we pass the ball a lot more than we ever have so my pass blocking has really come a long way so far,” Ali said.

Since committing, Ali has stopped by for a couple practices and has also been keeping in touch with coach Joe Craddock and Dustin Fry.  

“Everything has been going great, I am still getting texts and calls from them every once in a while so everything is still going good,” Ali said. 

Things have been quiet for Ali lately as he has only been hearing from SMU. That is completely fine by him as he is 100% solid to SMU as of right now. 

“It’s been pretty quiet, not really any other schools hitting me up anymore just SMU,” Ali said, “I’ll listen to them, but I am 100% to SMU right now.” 

After losing Chad Pursley for the season and replacing him with Nick Natour, Ali has liked what he’s seen from not only from the offensive line, but the team as a whole including the defense.  

“I know the left tackle at SMU is out and they are rotating that a little bit, but from what I’ve seen on offense they’ve been playing good, obviously the quarterback went down but I feel like SMU is coming out strong this season on defense too,” Ali said.
The 6-5, 275-pound tackle has especially liked what he’s seen from the offensive line and felt the Baylor game was certainly one that got away from them. 

“I’ve liked what I’ve seen, they have made a lot of major improvements, they really hung in there against Baylor. I thought they could have won that game, but they really have been playing good I thought,” Ali said, “I think they’ve come a long way, I love watching them play. I feel like they give the QB a lot of time passing this year I feel like they’ve had a solid season so far.”

Ali is excited to take a couple more visits this season when the Mustangs take on Houston, as well as the official visit with the rest of the commits in January. 

“I’ve got a pretty good relationship with them, they are all nice guys very hard workers, I love all the other commits this year.” 

Highlights of Alan Ali

Local 2018 Quarterback Talks SMU visit
Greg Powers - SCOUT

By: Andrew Hattersley

As 2018 Prestonwood Christian (Tex.) quarterback M.J. Rivers continues to make his stops at various games this season, he stopped by for SMU’s matchup with Liberty Saturday night. 

“It was great, I really like the campus, the team and what type of culture they have,” Rivers said, “I think they had a good performance, I like their tempo.” 

The dual-threat quarterback who’s rushed for over 150 yards per game this season, has continued to build a strong relationship with the SMU coaching staff, specifically SMU defensive backs coach Jess Loepp.

“It’s been really good; we have been bonding a lot,” Rivers said, “They talk to you with welcoming arms, they talk to you like you a part of the family already.” 

Rivers’ only offer so far is from Iowa State, but he has also been hearing from Texas State, Indiana, Texas, Notre Dame, Tulsa, Alabama and Oklahoma State. SMU has mentioned to him he may receive an offer, but that evaluation is ongoing. 

“They told me they were going to recruit me as a quarterback and athlete this year,” Rivers said. 

Rivers also continues to develop a strong relationship with Iowa State and likes their preparation during the week even if the wins aren’t coming yet. 

“It’s been really good, I really like talking to coach Hofher and just what they have been doing during the week at practice,” Rivers said. 

Rivers should be making his decision at some point next year and when he does, he will be looking closely at the relationship between the school and staff, as well as, the way the staff treats their players. 

“I’m looking for a team that welcomes everybody, doesn’t treat anyone higher or less, just treats everyone as a big family,” Rivers said, “The school aspect, I’m looking for a great business school and also I want my school to have a great bond with the coaches.” 

2018 Athlete Updates Season, SMU interest

By: Demetrio Teniente

Last Thursday night, A&M Consolidated put the clamps on College Park in the Cavaliers at Woodforest Bank Stadium.  

The Cavaliers (0-4) have had a rough go at it in 2016, but their offense has been able to move the ball on occasion. However, that night, 2018 consolidated safety Kolby Peel and the rest of the Tiger defense held the Cavs to just 155 yards.

“[Winning] always the main thing for me,” Peel said. “Obviously I want to play well and I want my teammates to play well, but as long as we come out with the win, I’m happy.”

Peel has been in good spirits lately, it helps that his team is 2-1 now after having its original season opener canceled because of weather and then dropping the new opener 34-28 to Foster.

But more than that, Peel is still riding high after picking up his first offer last spring from SMU.  

“That was big time,” he said. “I really appreciated it a lot. I wasn’t expecting it. I got called into my coach’s offices and someone was on the phone and they told me about it.”

Peel says hes been in contact with assistant coached Jess Loepp and Justin Stepp, mostly through Twitter.  

"I enjoy talking to them, they are both high energy guys and it’s always a lot of fun,” Peel said. “They keep talking to me about going up to see some games. I’d love the opportunity to go see them.”

Other than regular checkups from SMU, Peel has been getting some interest from TCU.   

A&M Consolidated is just beginning league play in District 18-5A so Peel is focused on the opponent at hand, but is hoping he can take some time to make some visits soon.

The Tigers face Waco (3-1) Friday night at Waco ISD Stadium at 7:30 to open district play.  

2018 defensive back talks SMU

By: Billy Embody

2018 Manvel (Tex.) defensive back Trent Gordon was busy this summer with trips and this past weekend took in the LSU-Mississippi State game.

“It was awesome. It was such an experience. I went in there with the mindset that they were going to be more receptive to the commits, but they were interested in talking to me. They wanted to know about my team and how I was doing.”

Cal, TCU, Texas A&M, Texas and SMU are also showing interest in the 2018 defensive back. 

“I’m still in contact with mostly Cal, Texas A&M and Texas. Purdue also keeps sending me mail and reaching out. Purdue has been showing me a lot of love,” Gordon said. 

Van Malone has been in contact with the 2018 defensive back and Gordon plans to set up a visit to SMU for a game when he's able to. This summer when Gordon camped at SMU, Malone was high on him.

"He was actually the one that got my name out there at SMU when I camped there this summer," Gordon said. "I did win MVP at the camp. They were planning on offering me that night, but something didn't go right and that didn't happen yet."

Malone has built a good, early relationship with Gordon, who likes Malone's attitude towards coaching.

"Coach Malone is a hard-core type of guy. He was all up in my face. I said, wow if I come to SMU, I know what I'm dealing with. He wasn't laid back, but on the field, he's totally different. He's the same guy."

SMU's facilities — both academically and athletically — impressed Gordon.

"SMU's facilities are nice. I've already been there for an educational summer camp so I already knew what to expect. It was more beautiful than I thought it would be when I went back.

Texas A&M, Cal and Houston are getting visits from Gordon later this fall.

Chad Morris TCU Week Press Conference


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